Friday, September 9, 2011
I finally caved in and made Cake Pops! They’re pretty popular these days, so I don’t know what took me so long. A friend of mine saw me in the Tennessean not too long ago and asked me if I’d make some cake pops for a baby shower at her office. I’m always up for a baking challenge, so I agreed and me vs. cake pops began!
So, how’s it taste?
I did a practice round with red velvet cake and cream cheese icing, and while they tasted great, they didn’t look so hot. Remember that SNL commercial with Quarry breakfast cereal? I affectionately refer to my first batch of cake pops as “Quarry Pops.” After a call to Shannon over at Family Bites, I quickly learned that cake pop making is somewhat of a science. My first batch was tasty, but way too big and had too much icing. You want the cake/icing mix to be crumbly and you’ll get the urge to add more icing, but don’t. When you roll the cake into balls, you shouldn’t have a lot of the cake mix stuck to your hands. I knew I had too much icing in the red velvet version when my hands looked like they had been in a horror movie.
My baby shower batch turned out so much better! I found using a heaping tablespoon of the cake mix makes a good sized cake pop. For this batch, I used white cake mix with cream cheese icing. I’m outspoken about my dislike of white cake, but I’ll be the first to say these cake pops were awesome! I liked them so much better than the red velvet or chocolate versions I’ve had. It’s a perfect bite of sweet, moist cake with candy coating. I also found I’m a fan of using almond bark over the candy melts. The almond bark tastes much better to me and is easier to work with, but it doesn’t come in a variety of colors like the candy melts, so there’s a trade-off. For the decoration, I made a small batch of royal icing and colored it pink. I added the decoration after the almond bark was completely dry on the cake pops.
For presentation, I wrapped each pop with a candy wrapper and tied them with a small piece of pink ribbon. They were too cute!
1 box cake mix (plus ingredients according to package directions)
1/2 cup ready-to-use icing
almond bark or candy melts
1. Bake cake in a 9x12 cake pan according to package directions. Let cool completely.
2. In large mixing bowl, use hands to crumble the cake until no large chunks remain.
3. Add 1/2 cup of ready-to-use icing.
4. Blend in icing completely with a spatula (I find using your hands to be easier) until it is completely combined and holds together cake crumbs. You may be tempted to add more icing, but it will come together. When you roll the cake, it shouldn't leave any cake/icing stuck to your hands.
5. For medium-sized cake pops, use a heaping tablespoon per pop. Roll back and forth in hands until you create a smooth round ball.
6. Place cake balls on a cookie sheet or¥baking pan lined with parchment paper. Chill for at least 2 hours.
7. Melt the almond bark or candy melts using a double-boiler, microwave, or this handy chocolate melter.
8. Dip the tip of one end of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and insert no more than halfway through a cake ball. Dip cake pop into the melted chocolate and gently tap off the excess chocolate. Place cake pop into the styrofoam block to dry.